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Posts posted by YimSiam

  1. The Men Who Stare At Goats, Jon Ronson.  This one has been around for well over a decade now I think, a hardly believable account of the author's research - mainly interviews - into the military's efforts to engage in psychic warfare, remote viewing, and the title's killing of goats with the mind...  It is so out there that you can hardly believe it's true, and I haven't bothered to look into how true and accurate the book may be, or how relaible the interviewees, but there are some interesting storylines albeit by this point perhaps well-trodden paths (MK-Ultra in particular).  Links to Heaven's Gate and Branch Davidians quite amazing.  Thought I'd throw an entry into this thread, and there it is.  Saw the movie of this book, but that was in the midst of my drinking days and the memories are scant indeed - I believe George Clooney was involved, but perhaps that was just... a creation of my mind.


    It's an odd exception to permit, this long-stay allegedly-touristic visit mode - but hey, any opening is a good opening, even if it's one that I can hardly avail myself of now or in the foreseeable future...  How I missed "accidentally" getting trapped-in-Thailand for the lockdown duration, I can only wonder - I really have lost my touch, not to have foreseen that and been able to find myself mid-adenoidectomy medical visit or long-weekend-holiday visit back in March or whenever when the silk curtain first went down... Instead it was stuck in North Africa for me, and while sure the Mediterranean coast is fine, I would have much rather done my waiting and telecommuting from Thailand.  Looking forward to the day when I can sign on to whatever program the RTG puts forward, and come do my best to revive the tourism economy one lady drink at a time...


  3. On 8/30/2020 at 7:51 AM, cavanami said:

    Wish Man (2019)

    Stars:Andrew Steel, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Tom Sizemore

    One boy's wish changed a man. One man's wish changed the world.

    Movie based on the beginnings of the Make a Wish Foundation.

    Excellent movie, a bit reary eyed at times but a solid, feel good movie!

    **** 1/2

    Tom Sizemore is still alive, and acting?  I'm impressed.  He seems like he was scheduled for the Global RIP list a long time ago...  Last thing I saw him in, and assumed it would be his last thing, was Celebrity Rehab...


    Can't help but appreciate that Fedex is the force behind the eventually change of name, as they are shocked - just shocked!- to have such a racist name and symbol affiliated with their organization and its principled views...  Dude, you're 20 years into a 27 year sponsorship arrangement with the team - NOW you're suddenly shocked and offended!?  Day late and a dollar short, Fedex - and when you're in express shipping, timing is everything!  

    OK, I hand this thread back over to the recently departed - and just to keep on track, I give you:  Benjamin Keough, gunshot suicide.  


  5. If I Had Your Face - Frances Cha

    Korean or Korean American author writes about a handful of Korean young women who grew up in an orphanage and are now living in Seoul, working in 'salon rooms' which sound basically like a karaoke type setup without the karaoke - insight into the Korean version of Thai girl life.  Bit confusing structure with different stories entwined, lots about the plastic surgery business in Korea, mostly interesting to me for the Thai girl nightlife parallels...



  6. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy


    Thought I would take a turn towards some "serious fiction" and this is indeed that, but I was left cold - bleak, puzzling, violent, hopeless tale.  Prose style is a thing of marvel in its way, and the breadth of McCarthy's vocab had me checking words about every other page, but overall I did not see the point of this story of scalping, murder, rape and pillage - I think its probably sacrilege to doubt the great masters (you will never hear me wonder what the hell Bob Dylan was thinking about anything he's done; I know it's always just a question of me coming around to appreciate the latest from him), but I will not be coming back to Cormac for a while - I need a little more cynical joy and uplift from a novel, however bleak the world.  

  7. On 6/14/2020 at 4:22 PM, Palatkik said:

    Driveways [2019]
    One of Dennehy's last movies where he gives one of his most subtle performances as a gruff Korean war vet living in retirement alone and befriends a young boy and his mother who come by next door to clear out her deceased sisters house for resale. A gem of a movie.


    Gruff war vet living alone?  Sounds like... John Rambo!  Better hope he doesn't run into an asshole local sheriff with a thing against vets...  RIP Dennehy.

  8. The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene

    This was a good one - Greene is eminently readable, great prose and thoughtful issues in play, and a plot that somehow rolls out fairly plausible in its way, about a period and context I wasn't aware of: the persecution of Catholic priests in Mexico's Tabasco state in the first half of the last century.  Protagonist is a 'whisky priest' on the run from the law and his own conscience, as he makes his way he encounters a handful of memorable characters and struggles with his situation as a drunk, a father (small 'f' and big 'F') and ethical dilemmas...  (Sorry to those reviewed just above, where I've been perhaps less than charitable - it's tough to get a passing grade when you're juxtaposed against Graham Greene during the same weekend read-a-thon... the bar is set high!)

  9. Five Crazy Years - Memoirs of a Go-Go Bar Owner - Gordin

    Another title and premise with promise, an American retiree dives into the go-go bar management business in Patpong during the last decade.  Some basic observations on Thai culture and the biz, and friendly and seemingly candid description of what it is like to do what so many of us must - for at least a moment, come on - have considered at some point, and so for that I'm thankful the gentleman made the effort.  It's brief though, and seems to avoid tangling with some of the thorny issues that must come up (and includes an odd set of references to Wild West US history, which don't really work).  Kudos to the author for the courage to take that crazy step, and for sharing his experiences, even if it is not yet The Great Authoritative Thailand Bar-Owner Memoir that I'm waiting for.

  10.  Uncanny Valley - Anna Weiner

    Pitched I suppose as something of an expose of the San Francisco tech startup life, but doesn't really get past any of the usual milestones we are already familiar with: tech bros are shallow, the money of the life can be beguiling, tech has changed the city and our world, the snack bar is awesome, maybe it's kind of unethical and all the revolution talk might just be playing into the hands of the existing powers that be by providing new tools for control and repression... or something like that.  She's a good writer, prose is perfectly alright, but I felt like it never got out of second gear.

  11. Crazy Medicine - Matt Carell

    A little novella set in Thailand of course about some bar girls and a dealer and a foreigner girl who wants to make a film about the yaba trade.  Apparently it was turned into a short film by the other and his colleagues.  Too superficial and brief to really get past the basics - the bar life is more complicated than some make it seem, drugs are bad, don't mess with bargirls or the Thai authorities.  Plot is a bit ludicrous as well - better to just stick with the John Burdett stuff and Private Dancer, I think.  


    I've often felt Mr. Fiery Jack was due for some international recognition, perhaps a Pulitzer (sure there is a relevant category), an Interpol notice, maybe even a textbox in the latest edition of the Lonely Planet, as living history of the Nana Hotel or some such.  I'm not sure that his employ of a broad range of emojis will age as well as Mr William Shakespeare's reliance on iambic pentameter, but the two men are certainly in the same neighborhood when it comes to capturing the vicissitudes of this human life we share.  More recognition of a poster than any particular post, yet nonetheless - my hat-tip and thanks to Mr. Jack!  

    YimSiam 🙂

    • Thanks 1

    Clubland, by Frank Owen - the story of the mid-late nineties New York club kid and party scene, centering on the extensive effort to indict and convict Limelight and Tunnel owner Peter Gatien on drug-dealing charges, and the high profile killing of a club drug dealer by the public face of the club scene, Michael Alig.  Took me back to some unhealthy but still often fun days back in New York on the tail end of that scene - there was a lot of crap going on, but at the core, dancing to the music was a good time... and that's what I'll try to remember.  


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